A new University of Buffalo study has revealed that college students engaged in “four or more high impact practices like internships or study abroad enjoy a 70% chance of enrolling in a graduate school or be employed in a full-time job after completing their undergraduate studies.
As per the researchers, each high impact practice enhanced a student’s chance of earning a bachelor’s degree and a full-time job by 17%, meanwhile improve their chances of enrolling in a graduate school by 30%. “College Success”, irrespective of the family or student background, researchers state, was highly influenced by practices such as internships, study abroad, community service, undergraduate research, capstone courses and first-year seminars.
The results of the research had been published in the International Journal of Educational Research Open. With the help of the results, universities may be able to reduce or close the gap between immigrant and international college students with those whose families were born in the US, thus ensuring educational inclusion and equity for the marginalised students.
The study further revealed that immigrant or international students are commonly found to be more economically disadvantaged, thus restricting their participation in high-impact practices. This further puts them behind US-born students in terms of graduation rates, graduate school enrollments as well as job employment rates.
Lead Investigator Jaekyung Lee, PhD Professor of Counselling, School of Educational Psychology at UB Graduate School of Education, stated that even though the international students excel in graduation rates and graduate school enrollment, they find difficulty in being employed in full-time jobs, regardless of the high levels of participation in high-impact practices than US-born students.
Lee suggested that the strict anti-immigration policies that have restricted the employment, internship and research opportunities for international students could be a few of the reasons for such challenges.
Lee added that the disadvantaged students are commonly stereotyped as incapable of obtaining success, the hostile environment is the real challenge. Lee states, “Transforming one’s self-trajectory at the individual level is an unfair burden on students”, who face “multi-systemic” challenges every day. He emphasized the importance of a committed and intentional action at the institutional level for determining the college readiness and success of the students.
Namsook Kim PhD, the co-author and clinical assistant professor of educational leadership and policy in the UB Graduate School of Education highlighted the importance of higher education institutions’ participation in offering support services that address crucial issues such as discrimination, difficulties in adjusting to alien cultural norms, language barriers, and financial difficulties.
Funded by AccessLex Institute, the Association for Institutional Research and the UB Baldi Centre for Law and Social Policy funded the study. They sought to find the differences between the performance of the international and immigrant college students with the US-born students and figure out the factors that both negatively and positively affected their success rates.
The study had been conducted on the basis of data collected on student transition from College to Career from the National Centre for Education Statistics. The research team had interviewed international and immigrant students as well. As per sources, students were considered to be US-born if their parents were born in the US, however, students were considered immigrants if their parents were born in another country but currently reside in the US.